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How to Successfully Lead Change Management in the Workplace

Updated: Aug 22, 2021


New research is showing that 37% of HR leaders don’t believe that their managers are equipped to lead change. For many businesses this says that managers and employees alike have not been taught how to prepare for change and successfully navigate to survive and thrive. Every organisation will undergo some type of transition or change to remain successful. From onboarding or organisational re-structuring, these sometimes-sudden changes can have a significant impact on both the direction of your business as well as employee safety and satisfaction.

The last 18 months have clearly demonstrated that organisations don’t always adapt to change well, and that change is intimidating for managers and frontline staff alike. For managers and executives, overseeing change management means you must be across what to expect and have an open mindset towards the changes happening. Whilst change can breed uncertainty and fear, it also represents opportunity for the growth of a business and career progression for all involved, if navigated correctly.

Firstly, what is change management? A very common question circulating the business world currently, especially in the wake of uncertainty and constant change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With relevance to an organisation, change is a constant presence, with change management requiring managers to leverage such change to come to a successful result for the business. Successful outcomes can range from higher staff retention to more productive sales calls, all from altering parts of the business structure or internal processes.

Whilst change is constant, think of it as a spectrum, as all change affects a business differently. There are small incremental changes to improve performance of a team or system and then there are transformative changes, which can alter the trajectory of a business entirely. By understanding and recognising these types of changes, managers will be better equipped to leverage off the opportunities change presents.

With change and change management being such popular buzzwords, HR leaders and senior managers might be asking themselves, what is all the hype for? If change is such a constant presence then having we already been dealing with it? The answer to that is yes…and no. Organisations across Australia have been dealing with change on a constant basis, maybe without even realising it. However, new data shows that 66% of employees do not trust their managers to lead them through change and having the support of employees and frontline staff are essential to navigating change management successfully. An additional mere 31% of employees agreed that their organisation had a positive attitude towards change and new information, clearly demonstrating how managers need to not only deal with change but embrace it and incorporate it into company culture.

But how do we successfully lead change management? Whilst every employee has their own role to assist and support change, leaders must observe the bigger picture and articulate these changes company-wide to support managers assure a smooth transition and keep their direct reports reassured and bought-in. To make this successful, leaders and managers must possess certain skills, Dale Carnegie research shows that successful change management comes from leaders who exhibit;

1. Clear and effective communication, to communicate change clearly as well as secure organisational buy-in

2. A deep understanding of emotional intelligence

3. Attention to detail as well as a clear overall picture

In order to effectively prepare for organisational change, these skills are essential to your success. If you or your team are looking for opportunities to improve on your communication or leadership abilities, Dale Carnegie offers a wide range of corporate solutions customisable to you and your organisation. Our content has had proven success with companies across the world at successfully navigating change in these uncertain times. Please visit or call us on (02) 9437 3350 for more information.

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